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Riding in Gunnison, CO

Gunnison is a great place to ride a dirt bike! With over 5,000 miles of dirt roads and dirt bike accessible trails (that's what they tell me) you could spend your life on two wheels here.

I've included links to info on the Gunnison area and the trail riding around here.

Weather Overview

Gunnison itself is located at 7,700'. You could easily be riding at 12,000'. It's the Rocky Mountains, take it seriously.

  • 11/15 - 4/15 - nothing is open to dirt bikes and it's freezing cold
  • 4/15 - Hartman Rocks area opens up - sunny and highs in 40s
  • 5/15-6/1 - Fossil Ridge Recreation Area and other low areas just outside of Gunnison open up, sunny and highs in the 50s
  • 6/1-6/15 - the high mountains begin to open up, sunny and highs in the 60s
  • 6/15-7/15 - unless it's been a very heavy snow year, everything is open, sunny and highs in the 70s
  • 7/15-9/15 - afternoon rain showers, otherwise sunny and highs in the 70s and 80s
  • 9/15-11/15 - possible snow showers, sunny and highs in the 60s, later in the period highs in the 40s
  • W A R N I N G ! - rain in the mountains is completely different from rain at low elevations. It is freezing cold and if you don't have a rain jacket you can get hypothermia, even in the summer. Hypothermia can be deadly. If you're soaking wet, the mountains are no fun. Carry a rain jacket!

Motorcycle Dealers

Sun Sports of Gunnison - sells KTM dirt bikes, Yamaha and Kawasaki dirt bikes and ATVs, and Yamaha and Polaris snowmobiles. The owner, Morrill Griffith, is really good with high altitude jetting questions. 970-641-0883

Gunnison Motorsports - a dealer for Husqvarna dirt bikes and Arctic Cat Snowmobiles, and an independent service and accessories dealer. The owner is Fritz Kadlec, an 80s ISDE rider and offroad champion. Sean, the mechanic, is the best service guy in the valley. 970-641-7377

Davis Service Center of Montrose - 2380 East Main (east Hwy 50). A KTM, Gas Gas, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha dealer of everything that moves. Just 60 miles west of Gunnison, in the great riding area of Montrose, CO. 800-551-1107/970-249-8161

Highland Motorcycles - 5068-A N. Townsend, Montrose, CO 81401 Independent sales and repair, used bikes, accessories. Morgan Spradling, the owner, is a great guy and will treat you right. 970-240-2197

Timberline Motorsports of Buena Vista - located 65 miles east of Gunnison. They sell ATVs, snowmobiles and motorcycles. 719-395-4272

High Country Connection of Salida - located 65 miles east of Gunnison. A Kawasaki dealer. 719-539-6168

Lodging in Taylor Park & Sargents

There are dozens of motels in the Gunnison Valley, but these two particularly cater to dirt bikers and ATV riders.

  • Taylor Park Trading Post - rents cabins at the top of Taylor Canyon, in the heart of the great riding area. 970-641-2555
  • Tomichi Creek Trading Post - rents nice new cabins and RV spaces in Sargents, CO, east of Gunnison about 30 miles. 970-641-0674

Maps

You can buy good maps at Sun Sports, Gunnison Motorsports or the Bookworm (970-641-3693), our excellent little bookstore. I recommend the Trails Illustrated maps for the most details - they are big enough for use with a GPS system. Maps from Latitude 40 are excellent for giving an overview of an area. Be aware that not all trails are on all maps, trails sometimes disappear or are closed, and you should use caution and common sense when riding.

Riding Clubs

Colorado Backcountry Trail Riders Alliance - Carbondale based riding club.

GOATS - Gunnison Valley OHV Alliance of Trailriders.

Racing in Colorado

Rocky Mountain Enduro Circuit

Sport Riders Association of Colorado

Land Management Agencies:

Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests - controls most of the riding areas. 970-641-0471

Bureau of Land Management - the BLM controls some of the areas around Gunnison. 970-641-0471

General Info

Gunnison Chamber of Commerce - info on business in the area.

The Gunnison Country Times - the weekly newspaper in the Gunnison area.

Western State College of Colorado - Gunnison has its own 4 year college offering degrees in 100 different disciplines, including Computer Science, which is my area.

Gunnison Weather Report - from the Weather Underground. About as good as anything you'll find, this is what I use.